What is the best/wisest advice ever given to you by someone of an older generation?

We all shouted with joy as we celebrated the New Year.

“Hector,” my friend Peter said, “This is the year — I’m committed. I will start my own business in 2019!”

“That’s fantastic, Pete! Congratulations! I wish you huge success!” I said.

That was Peter’s New Year’s resolution.

I just remembered this event because my friend Peter called me this morning, almost 30 days after we celebrated the New Year.

“Hey, how’s everything going?” I asked.

“Everything is good, well, you know, busy… always busy,” Pete said.

“Ohh, tell me about it, Pete. We’re all struggling with time management,” I said. “What’s going on?”

“I just got a new Harley Davidson! You won’t believe how amazing it is, I found some old friends and we go riding over the weekends.”

“Wow! That’s fantastic, Pete, I know you’ve always wanted that hobby… good for you!”

“Yes, I’m happy,” Pete said.

Our conversation went on with personal issues and in the middle of it all Pete said, “Hey, have you seen the Netflix series ‘Designated Survivor?’”

“No, but I’ve heard it’s good.”

“Yes!” Pete said with excitement, “You won’t believe how good it is! I can’t wait to get home to watch another episode.”

Pete talked on.

After a while, Pete got to the point of his phone call, “Hey, do you remember the business idea I told you about over the New Year? I’ve been struggling to get it up and running.”

“Why? What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Well, so many things are going on in my life now. It’s so difficult!”

“Well, Pete, take it easy. Maybe this is a good moment to pause and think about what you really want.”

I know what I wantHector! I want to start this business. I know I want it!”

“Pete, I will tell you something I learned from my grandfather. He was a wise old man!”

“Tell me!” Pete reacted.

“My grandfather had an interesting way of challenging his boys as they grew up. He would say to them, ‘Don’t tell me what you want to achieve in life. Show me how you spend your time and money, and I will show you what you reallywant’.”

There was silence for a moment.

“Pete? Hello? Are you still there?” I asked.

“Yes, I’m here,” and silence again.

“Pete, are you okay?”

“Hector, that’s a very powerful statement,. You just poured a bucket of ice water over my head. I do have some thinking to do. Thank you, my friend!”

Pete hung up.

So, to answer your question, what’s the wisest advice ever given to you by someone of an older generation?

Don’t tell me your priorities — show me how you spend your time and money and I’ll tell you what they are.

My grandfather lived by this statement.

It’s deep. It’s powerful. It’s irrefutable. I personally consider it extraordinary.


Answer originally appeared on Quora.


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